Resolutions that make you prettier can be some of the most fun to keep. This year, why don’t you...
Get Serious About Sun Protection
SPF products are boring, I know. Ads for the stuff are rarely glamorous and we use it to maintain our skin rather than to instigate change. However, it fights so many changes that none of us want to see that a big bottle of broad-spectrum SPF25 or higher will likely serve you better than the latest miracle cream.
Loss of elasticity, age spots, crepiness and wrinkles are all sun-damage related problems that become more prevalent after age 40. UV damage makes it more difficult for skin to retain moisture or to recover from atopic conditions. The antioxidant products you buy to aid repair are less effective if skin goes unprotected in daytime (and you do need to wear it in any kind of daylight, as clouds are no shield from UVA or UVB rays).
Even if you’ve been cavalier about sunscreen thus far, it’s better to start late than not at all. A cream stick like Clinique Targeted Protected Sun Stick SPF35, €24, makes protecting the body a cinch.
BareMinerals PrimeTime BB Primer Cream SPF30, €27, is great for the face. Needless to say, you should also swap sunbeds for fake tan. Every session is ageing your skin.
Use An Antoxidant-Packed Facial Serum
Repair existent sun damage and fight ageing free radicals with an antioxidant rich serum. Try using Elizabeth Superstart Skin Renewal Booster Serum, €59, immediately after cleansing and before your moisturiser.
Glasswort extract helps improve hydration levels, probiotics optimise the skin’s natural defences, and sea fennel and flaxseed extracts help to reinforce the natural moisture barrier.
The short-term result is a refreshed and more radiant-looking complexion, while consistent use improves skin’s overall texture. The formula contains enough fragrance to bother sensitive types.
If you’re one of them, I recommend Murad Perfecting Serum, €40, or Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum Fragance Free, €31.99.
Treat Your Body As You Would Your Face
Make this the year you get every inch of skin looking good by paying your face and body equal attention.
Spots on your back and shoulders, for example, respond to the same salicylic acid exfoliant and benzoyl peroxide solution that clear your facial acne.
Treat them with Smashbox Photo Finish More Than A Primer Blemish Control, €35, and La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Anti-Blemish Cream, €17.99.
Keratosis Pilaris (white or red bumps that usually appear on your biceps and thighs) should also be treated with a salicylic acid lotion, as this exfoliates inside the pore lining and reduces inflammation.
Don’t attempt to treat body acne or KP with scrubs or body brushing.
These abrasive methods will only make skin red and sensitive.
Begin your body-care regime with a fragrance-free, water-based cleanser like First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wash, €25.38 at feelunique.com. Bar soaps and heavily-perfumed gels tend to dry and sensitise skin over time. Follow up with an antioxidant-rich body lotion that suits your skin type.
Layer broad-spectrum SPF25 or higher on the spots you leave uncovered during the day. I like to use StriVectin-SD Volumizing Hand Cream, €30 at Harvey Nichols Dundrum, which is high in reparative niacinamide, as an overnight treatment, though any rich moisturiser worn with cotton gloves leaves hands feeling pampered.
Finally, do consider laser hair removal. Some women only need one appointment and the results are long-term to permanent.
Not only are you saving your skin the stress of years of future depilation, but think of all the time and money you won’t be spending in salons/pharmacies afterwards. It is positively liberating.
Visit A Dermatologist
A quick consultation can illuminate why you’re skin’s issues haven’t disappeared through using that €100+ cream, or simply how to treat them faster.
Professional laser treatments can improve everything from blotchiness to cellulite to wrinkles.
Wear Less Foundation
As you’re taking such good care of your skin, you can afford to make foundation the icing on the cake. Chanel’s Les Beiges range is designed to give you a sun-kissed glow year-round.
Right now it include a bronzer, colour stick, face powder and tinted SPF fluid. This month sees the launch of Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation SPF25, €45, which hits counters on the 15th.
This hydrating makeup provides light, radiant coverage and subtle colour-correction. With 14 shades to choose from, it is easy to find a tone-on-tone match.
Chanel suggests going one shade lighter than your complexion, for increased luminosity. Enhance the natural-look finish by applying Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation with a damp sponge.
Do not rely on makeup as your sole UV protection, especially if it has a light texture. Layer this foundation over an SPF primer or moisturiser.
Experiment With Colour
Urban Decay’s latest shadow palette is the result of a colourful celebrity collaboration.
Those who’ve followed American singer-songwriter and fashion designer, Gwen Stefani – she of No Doubt fame through her career since Tragic Kingdom know her as a true beauty chameleon.
Harajuku-girl style, pink braids and blue dip-dyed hair are just a few trends that originated with the songstress.
The Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani Palette, €43, was completed after hours spent hashing out the details with UD founder Wendy Zomnir.
The polka-dotted case holds 15 shades ranging from richly-pigmented yellow and sapphire to more understated neutrals and smoky-eye fodder.
The shadows names are a mix of Stefani’s song titles and words relevant to her life.
A light brown is called ‘Anaheim,’ for where she grew up, while ‘Serious’ is a deep chocolate.
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